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Tap Me taps in-game advertising

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Tap Me yesterday unveiled what it dubs as the industry’s first non-disruptive in-game advertising platform. Adverts delivered by other game advertising models were distractive and out of context. The adverts also occupied valuable screen space and were prone to accidental clicks by gamers.

Tap Me yesterday unveiled the industry’s first in-game advertising platform. The company’s namesake platform breaks new ground as it squarely addresses a fundamental problem inherent in current advertising solutions for games on mobile devices. Despite the market size projected to be $50 billion, a 2011 mobile trends report by Kleiner Perkins underscores continuing difficulties in building consistent mobile ad revenues. One area of anticipated growth however is in the ‚gamification of mobile apps,‚ which is emerging as a lucrative approach for brands and developers to engage unobtrusively yet with more stickiness with existing gamers as well with an entire generation of younger mobile consumers.

Existing advertising solutions were never designed to work well in the context of games, and as a result, they essentially apply interruptive, out of context, in-game advertising methods that are ineffective. Replete with shortcomings, these ads occupy valuable screen space, are prone to mostly accidental clicks, or inject offers that require players to shift experiences in midst of a game. Aiming to introduce a new standard to in-game monetisation, Tap Me enables brands to engage with gamers in a way that adds value to their experience as they are playing the game– rather than taking them out of it.

As part of its official unveiling, Tap Me has opened up the beta to their iOS integration library and its web based management tools. Beginning today, Tap Me welcomes iPhone and iPad app developers to visit http://tap.me/wp/how-it-works, sign-up and download its integration library for iOS and support documentation to get started. Tap Me also has plans to extend support to other mobile platforms such as Android to follow shortly.

Spurring Huge Spikes in User Engagement Rates

Tap Me’s current testing shows engagement rates of players choosing sponsored power-ups as high as 20%, and in certain games above 50%. These engagement rates while early are unprecedented, particularly in comparison to traditional banner ad click-through rates, which typically linger below 1%.

‚One of Tap Me’s unique strengths is that we are a team of mobile game developers. This gives us an innate understanding of game design and development fundamentals. As a result, we created a compelling, first-of-a-kind monetization platform that takes advantage of the natural attributes of games, with the goal of maximizing the contextual opportunities for advertisers to participate in this exploding medium. Importantly, our platform enables developers to monetise the vast majority of gamers who do not engage in other game monetization methods,‚ noted Joshua Hernandez, co-founder and CEO of Tap Me.

Currently, there are nearly 300 million gamers worldwide: mobile users spend more time on their mobile devices playing games and social networking (47%) than they do making phone calls and sending messages (32%). Tap Me provides an alternative to monetize through advertising that is in-context, simple to integrate, scalable and, for the first time, plays on the natural strengths of games as a medium.

For Game Developers:

¬∑ Tap Me’s platform enables developers to add their games, categorize content, create sponsored leader boards and obtain performance metrics on how Tap Me’s platform is working at a granular level in their games.

¬∑ Game developers can freely meta tag and classify game content, such as for ‚endurance‚ or ‚speed,‚ so content can be sponsored by relevant advertisers.

· Tap Me essentially creates new real estate for advertising that can be used along side other ad platforms, such as iAd or AdMob, or integrated into virtual goods or currency systems.

· Tap Me provides both a turnkey solution for developers to drop into their games as well as an API that allows for custom GUI integration.

For Advertisers:

¬∑ Tap Me provides a new level of engagement that today’s brands seek: a user-selected, long-term engagement.

· Advertisers have a new unparalleled way to engage game players in-context, from simply adding value to a game, awarding progress with rewards and discounts, to extending social media or promotional campaigns.

¬∑ Using Tap Me’s Player Messaging system, sponsors and developers can communicate with players in a non-intrusive manner and begin to create a stronger relationship with each player. For example, sponsors can send a message to a player’s in-box, encouraging the player to ‚get 5 of their friends to retweet a message to earn 1,000 points.‚

¬∑ Advertisers can also be included alongside achievements in a game. The notion of an achievement is always a positive moment in the game for a player, so that any advertiser can attach a brand to an ‚achievement‚ earned by the player.

· Advertisers can buy audiences in aggregate. In other words, they are not required to put all of their ad investment dollars into any one single game but can instead benefit from the network effect of the number of overall gamers, regardless of game title.

For Gamers:

· The Tap Me platform adds value to the game in the form of fun advantages, incentives, and content. Importantly, Tap Me provides a new method of advertising that does not interrupt game play and includes real-world rewards for the gamer.

· Players initiate and get to choose which participating sponsors they want to involve in their game play. For example, a player can choose to get more endurance or speed from, say, Nike or Gatorade, two companies that could hypothetically associate their brands by sponsoring these types of relevant, meta-tagged attributes in games.

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